Arik Hesseldahl

Recent Posts by Arik Hesseldahl

Exclusive: Backupify Closes $5 Million in Round Led by Avalon Ventures

Backupify, a cloud-based service that backs up the content of several social networks — including Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn — and also the contents of Google Apps accounts, has landed a $5 million B round of venture capital funding led by Avalon Ventures.

Prior investors General Catalyst and Lowercase Capital also joined the round, which brings the company’s total funding to $10.4 million. Avalon’s Brady Bohrmann will join Backupify’s board.

I talked with CEO Rob May, who told me about his plan to accelerate marketing and adoption of Backupify by users of Google Apps, the search giant’s Web-based business suite of applications that is proving popular with businesses. So far, Backupify is being used to back up the files on 5,000 Google Apps domains. He says he would also like to offer Backupify for several other services that users have been requesting. In addition, May wants to boost Backupify’s visibility among the many third-party partners — like, say, Cloud Sherpas — who work with businesses deploying Google Apps.

The outfit is growing fast. It has 175,000 users and stores 200 terabytes of data for its users, not just from Google apps, but also from Twitter, LinkedIn, Flickr, Blogger, and the Zoho Web-based office suite. One public customer is New York’s Museum of Modern Art, which uses Backupify to back up the Google Apps data generated by some 1,000 users. The data is all backed up to Amazon Web Services, but users can also download local copies of their data.

Why would you need to back up data that’s on a supposedly reliable cloud service? Because you might goof up — and delete something you didn’t mean to — just as easily in the cloud as on your PC. May says that roughly one-third of all data loss occurs because of user error. “We hear a lot of different things. When you delete something, Google assumes you meant to delete it. Sometimes things get deleted maliciously by a hacker, or someone who gets ahold of a password that wasn’t taken care of,” he says. “IT administrators want their own backup copy they can restore from. They trust Google not to lose it, but they don’t always trust their own users.”

Backupify’s $4.5 million A round was also led by Avalon and joined by General Catalyst and Lowercase Capital. Prior to that, First Round Capital led a $900,000 seed round, which was joined by Betaworks and several individual investors, including Chris Sacca and Jason Calacanis.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work